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Creative Assembly, 343 Industries, and Microsoft are gearing up for the release of Halo Wars 2 on Xbox One and Windows 10, and they have a new trailer that just went live for the game to help introduce players to the gameplay and world.
I don't think there's been a recent AAA title where the entire promotional campaign for the game veered so far away from the actual gameplay as if the publishers are terrified to let people know that this is a real-time strategy game set within the Halo universe.
To be fair, console gamers don't generally play real-time strategy games. We can only assume that Microsoft is working through the logic that if they focus too much on the strategy elements of Halo Wars 2 they'll scare away fans of the brand who are only interested in the action-oriented shooter elements. In fact, that appeared to be one of their biggest hurdles with the original Halo Wars.
Bungie, the creators of Halo, thought the RTS series was "whoring" out the Halo brand. However, some fans thought that the original RTS game from Ensemble Studios was well done and are quite excited about the sequel. In fact, many people state that the biggest drawback for the original Halo Wars was not putting it on PC, where they likely could have doubled their sales since RTS games are traditionally most popular on PC.
I'm a little shocked Microsoft didn't take an opportunity to combine the RTS and FPS genres together, allowing players to strategize their units in the RTS commander mode but then hop down into the actual game with FPS/TPS controls and play as those units in real-time. Indie developers have been experimenting with the hybrid RTS-FPS formula for years now, but it seems to be avoided at all costs in the AAA scene. For a game like Halo Wars it would have satisfied both the strategy game fans and the first-person shooter fans. Oh well... maybe in Halo Wars 3 we can expect a hybrid crossover?
For now, gamers can experience the cinematic trailer. So far, the majority of the trailers for the game have been cinematic focused, which were put together by Blur Studios. We've had a good helping of world building centered around the time warp the crew from the Spirit of Fire went through in order to end up on a usurped Ark by a group of killers and mercenaries known as The Banished, who are led by a brilliant war criminal named Atriox. The story and setup seem awesome but that will only carry them so far... they'll still need to ensure that the gameplay solid as well.
You can look for Halo Wars 2 to launch on February 21st.